Uncertainty drives anxiety, sensory issues in autism | Spectrum | Autism Research News

“Autistic children want to have control over their environment, to make it more predictable,” says lead researcher Elizabeth Pellicano, professor of psychology and human development at the University of London. Helping children learn to draw from past experiences to better predict the outcome of future situations may quell their anxiety along with their sensory sensitivities, Pellicano says. The work appeared 10 February in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

The findings suggest that interventions aimed at helping children with autism to cope with unpredictability could help to ease their anxiety and sensory sensitivities.

“What we’re suggesting is that all three of these factors are interacting, and if you act on one of these things, it might have consequences for the others,” Pellicano says.

In 2014, Sinha unveiled the provocative theory that children with autism overlook important clues leading up to an event and are often taken by surprise when a situation unfolds. The world can seem unpredictable and overwhelming from this perspective, he says.

“The link between sensory sensitivities and difficulties in handling uncertainty has important implications not only for our basic understanding of autism, but also for potential interventions,” Pawan says. “Instead of attempting to simply ‘dampen down’ the sensory environment of a child on the spectrum, it may be more effective to enhance its predictability.”


Pregnancy test – Wikipedia

At the beginning of the 1930s, Hillel Shapiro and Harry Zwarenstein, who were researchers at the University of Cape Town, discovered that if urine from a pregnant female was injected into the South African Xenopus toad and the toad ovulated, this indicated that the woman was pregnant. This test was used throughout the world from the 1930s to 1960s, with Xenopus toads being exported live in great numbers. Shapiro’s advisor, Lancelot Hogben, claimed to have developed the pregnancy test himself, but refuted by both Shapiro and Zwarenstein in a letter to the British Medical Journal. A later article, independently authored, granted Hogben credit for the principle of using Xenopus to determine gonadotropin levels in pregnant women’s urine, but not for its usage as a functional pregnancy test.

Seriously, that’s some mad scientist territory right there. What else did they inject into toads to see what would happen?


3 Problems Starting or Keeping a Task System | Being Productive

There is likely some truth to the sentiment that strength is about pushing limits. But there is also an important second part. Once limits are discovered, strength is also about respecting those limits. After all, there are forces much greater than ourselves. It is better to find some relationship with them, rather than believe we can defeat them by some tyranny of will. When we respect limits and what they represent, we also free resources for making things happen, oftentimes more in tune with our environments and ourselves.


Autistic in the Pandemic: A Call to Action

What I’d like you to consider doing: write a poem, letter, essay, paragraph, sentence, bullet list or record a video or audio statement or create a work of art or music or photography—in some way express yourself to others on this theme: how I have learned to take care of myself when I’m alone.

Takes the joke of autistics have been practicing for this for years and turns it on its head: if you have, then share what you’ve learned for those who haven’t.

Quotes, Writing

30 years after Prozac arrived, we still buy the lie that chemical imbalances cause depression

Some 2,000 years ago, the Ancient Greek scholar Hippocrates argued that all ailments, including mental illnesses such as melancholia, could be explained by imbalances in the four bodily fluids, or “humors.” Today, most of us like to think we know better: Depression—our term for melancholia—is caused by an imbalance, sure, but a chemical imbalance, in the brain.

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